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Marco van Ginkel returns to the (training) pitch after 17-month absence

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We missed you, Wulfert Cornelius!

Chelsea Training Session
MvG back in 2017 training at Cobham
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Back in the summer of 2013, a supremely talented midfielder by the supremely wonderful name of Wulfert Cornelius “Marco” van Ginkel arrived at Chelsea from Chelsea B Vitesse.

He had just been named Dutch Football Talent of the Year, a prestigious award he shares with the likes of Bergkamp, Seedorf, Kluivert, Robben, Eriksen, Sneijder, Van Persie, Van der Vaart, Depay, De Ligt, and Frenkie De Jong, just to name a few from a long list of outstanding young talents since the award’s creation in the mid-80s.

Unsurprisingly, it did not take long for him to impress at Stamford Bridge, earning a spot in José Mourinho’s side as a 20-year-old. Alas, his rise came to a screeching halt just a few short weeks later, when he suffered the first of many knee injuries that would come to define his career.

Despite his trials and tribulations, MvG was still able to find a great degree of success whenever he was healthy enough to play. In three seasons on loan back in the Netherlands with PSV, he won league titles in the 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons — the latter as club captain, despite being only 24 years old.

On the back of such success in 2018, Van Ginkel was in prime position to turn his PSV loan into a permanent transfer. Getting out of the loan cycle had been one of his wishes, as it is for many repeat customers. But then came another injury. The worst of all yet, which has kept him out for almost eighteen months — and counting.

Thankfully Marco, whose Chelsea contract is up in the summer, is not one to give up easily, that much should be obvious by now. He has been hard at work in his recovery, and despite some setbacks, he has finally found his way back out onto the (training) pitch this week. After such a long time without the chance of even smelling the grass, what a sweet feeling it must have been!

While he’s not quite ready to return to match action yet, this is fantastic news for sure! Keep it up, Marco!